The first time I stepped into a French grocery store was in San Francisco, of all places. The small epicerie in Hayes Valley, owned by a French couple, carried an array of products I’d never seen before, from marrons glaces to locally made saucisson a l’ail. They even maintained a well-stocked cheese cave where a very knowledgeable cheese expert was available to give samples and cut big wedges … Continue reading French Epicerie Finds to Haul Home
Time for PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! At least, it finally feels like it here in Northern California – citrouille season. These bright orange pumpkins (Curcubita pepo) start showing up at the market in September, and stick around until just after Thanksgiving here in the States. They make a holiday table look festive, and no Halloween celebration would be complete without a carved jack-o-lantern. Be aware, there is another … Continue reading Word Wednesday: citrouille
I’ve been lamenting the lack of good French movies on Netflix lately. Every once in awhile a fantastic movie will come up (like The Intouchables), but for the most part, I’ve found the selection a little mundane – how many “coming-of-age” films can a person watch, really? So, I was thrilled to find Call My Agent! (in French, Dix Pour Cent) as a new addition to the … Continue reading Netflix et Chill: Call My Agent!
Alexis-Gabriel Ainouz, known by his YouTube viewers as Alex French Guy Cooking, is a self-taught cook who gets seriously geeky about his food experiments. What I love most about his channel is that it is easy to follow, with recipes that are a breeze to execute, no matter what your level of expertise is. Some of my favorite episodes include the “How to Make Bread” … Continue reading YouTube: Alex French Guy Cooking
Ever since I watched my first foreign film, I thought that most French movies were far too esoteric or dark for my taste (even the funny ones). What I eventually discovered is that while there are those types of films out there, there are also some great ones that are closer to your favorite American comedy than you’d expect! Take a peek at four of … Continue reading 4 Funny French Movies
A friend of mine once gave me his summer mantra: “If there ain’t pink in it, I ain’t drinkin’ it.” I knew there was a reason I liked him. Rosé is the official summer beverage in this house (alternating with panachés and pastis). I love it because it’s served chilled and is a nice wine that lies between red and white, and because of this … Continue reading Bah, ouais – Rosé!
The literal translation of bouffer is to “puff up” (it’s almost onomatopoeic, really). But nowadays, people sometimes use it in place of manger (to eat), making la bouffe another word for food. I used to have a group of friends who set aside money each month in a bank account so we could go out and have an extravagant meal every so often. The name of our club? La … Continue reading Word Wednesday: la bouffe
My husband Fabien spent a great deal of his childhood summers in Arcachon, like many people from Southwest France. This beachside town reminds me vaguely of Carmel, with gorgeous buildings, manicured streets, and retirees enjoying the calm and leisurely pace year-round. I’d only stopped in Arcachon once before, on our way back from a road trip to San Sebastian; this time, Fabien wanted me to … Continue reading Leave me in Arcachon
One of my absolute favorite things about French cities (even small villages) is walking up to a cafe, sitting outside, and having a drink while people watching. On a trip to Bordeaux, we capped off a week of rain with a couple days of some of the warmest spring weather I’ve ever experienced in France, and found ourselves stopping at the Couleur Cafe (28 Rue … Continue reading Pour Me a Panaché
It’s the perfect weather outside for a pique-nique! Continue reading Word Wednesday: pique-nique